Agent instructed to oversee sale of Jamie Oliver’s Barbecoa sites

The Jamie Oliver Group has instructed property agents to find a taker for its two Barbecoa sites in Central London, it has emerged.

The highly-prized units are expected to attract international interest, which means a deal could happen quite quickly.

Specialist adviser Christie & Co has been hired to oversee the sale and while it did not name the client in a statement confirming it has been appointed to “bring two London landmark restaurant sites to market”, a spokesperson for the Jamie Oliver Group separately verified to the trade media that it was Barbecoa.

The two sites are fully fitted, individually styled venues, each with capacity to seat over 250 diners. Both sites will be sold unbranded, however.

The first site is situated in One New Change, opposite St Paul’s Cathedral, which attracts up to 5,000 visitors a day. The restaurant overlooks the tourist attraction and combines both bar and dining areas over a total of 8,700 square feet. One New Change houses 12 restaurants in total.

The other site sits in the famous thoroughfare of Piccadilly, between Piccadilly Circus and The Royal Academy. The restaurant now occupies two levels of a Grade 2 listed building. With a bar and dining area on both floors, spread over 11,000 square feet, the space is adaptable to a variety of operations if required.

Simon Chaplin, Christie & Co’s senior director and head of restaurants is handling the sales of the sites. He said: “London remains the dining capital of the world, with new ventures and concepts opening almost daily so the opportunity to acquire large sites in such well known locations is rare indeed. We expect interest from both UK and overseas investors looking to take advantage of the opportunity to acquire such prestigious sites in the capital.”

Jamie Oliver has described his Barbecoa restaurants as “like an Aladdin’s cave filled with equipment that no one else in London has”.

Barbecoa is the brainchild of Jamie Oliver and a friend, who wanted to bring slow-cooked, dry-aged meat, amazing cocktails, great wine and the “most outrageous” desserts in London to life.

On its website, Oliver describes the Barbecoa kitchen as a “chef’s dream come true”, stating: “It’s like an Aladdin’s cave filled with equipment that no one else in London has – robatas, Argentinian grills, wood-fired ovens, Texas pit smokers and a tandoor oven – used with fruit woods like apple oak and cherry to give our food incredible flavours.”

Last year the company added a charcoal oven from Mibrasa to its cookline after scouring the market for the most suitable solid fuel cooking option around.

The sites are available individually on long leases and Christie & Co said that offers are now being invited.

The news comes less than a week after sister business, Jamie’s Italian, agreed a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) that will see 12 sites closed.

In a statement released last Friday, Jamie’s Italian said: “We are pleased to have received the overwhelming support from our creditors for our proposal to reshape Jamie’s Italian restaurants. We have a strong brand and are focused on continuing to deliver the levels of service, taste and the experience our loyal customers deserve. We are working hard to ensure that our estate is fit for the current trading environment and we feel confident that this newly shaped business will provide strong opportunities for growth and profitability.”

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